Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products

Description

Purchase machinery, equipment, tools, parts, supplies, or services necessary for the operation of an establishment. Purchase raw or semi-finished materials for manufacturing.

Tasks

  • Prepare purchase orders, solicit bid proposals, and review requisitions for goods and services.
  • Interview vendors and visit suppliers' plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices.
  • Monitor and follow applicable laws and regulations.
  • Attend meetings, trade shows, conferences, conventions, and seminars to network with people in other purchasing departments.
  • Research and evaluate suppliers based on price, quality, selection, service, support, availability, reliability, production and distribution capabilities, and the supplier's reputation and history.
  • Confer with staff, users, and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action.
  • Evaluate and monitor contract performance to ensure compliance with contractual obligations and to determine need for changes.
  • Maintain and review computerized or manual records of items purchased, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories.
  • Arrange the payment of duty and freight charges.
  • Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other data and information to determine reasonable prices.
  • Review catalogs, industry periodicals, directories, trade journals, and Internet sites and consult with other department personnel to locate necessary goods and services.
  • Purchase the highest quality merchandise at the lowest possible price and in correct amounts.
  • Formulate policies and procedures for bid proposals and procurement of goods and services.
  • Hire, train, or supervise purchasing clerks, buyers, and expediters.
  • Study sales records and inventory levels of current stock to develop strategic purchasing programs that facilitate employee access to supplies.
  • Write and review product specifications, maintaining a working technical knowledge of the goods or services to be purchased.
  • Negotiate, renegotiate, and administer contracts with suppliers, vendors, and other representatives.
  • Monitor shipments to ensure that goods come in on time and resolve problems related to undelivered goods.
  • Monitor changes affecting supply and demand, tracking market conditions, price trends, or futures markets.

Skills

Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.
Operation Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Technology Design
Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Trunk Strength
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Response Orientation
The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Rate Control
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
Speed of Limb Movement
The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
Static Strength
The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Strength
The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.

Work Activities

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Interests

Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Work Values

Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Area Field Person
Area Field Worker
Buyer
Contract Analyst
Contract Specialist
Contractor Buyer
Contracts Administrator
Contracts Manager
Food Broker
Fuel Agent
Fuel Buyer
General Purchasing Agent
Import Coordinator
Jobber
Journeyman
Leaser
Log Buyer
Lumber Buyer
Media Buyer
Merchandiser
Ore Buyer
Outside Property Agent
Piece Jobber
Plant Buyer
Price Analyst
Print Buyer
Procurement Agent
Procurement Engineer
Procurement Specialist
Pulpwood Buyer
Pulpwood Contractor
Purchaser
Purchasing Agent
Purchasing Assistant
Purchasing Coordinator
Purchasing Manager
Purchasing Specialist
Radio Time Buyer
Railroad Purchasing Agent
Subcontract Administrator
Timber Buyer
Tools, Supplies, and Equipment Purchasing Agent
Traveling Buyer

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$28.25 hourly, $58,760 annual.
Employment (2008):
280,950 employees